As head teacher, I filled in as principal a few times last week.
I realize that it's the end of the year and everyone has had their fill of everything (both teachers and kids.)
My advice? Give yourself and them a break. Pick your battles, engage in conversation and use a positive relationship to solve your problems. A temper tantrum of sorts on their part doesn't mean you have to respond in kind.
When you bring your trying kids to me and tell me to scare them a little, I'm not going to do that. That's not who I am. I'm going to have a conversation with them, find out what's going on, let them know what the next step is in terms of consequences of their behaviors, and try to help them see why getting under your skin is a bad idea. Then I tell them to look scared like I've been scolding them.
If you take away all of their recess before 9:00 am, you're an idiot. Plain and simple. If recess is the only form of motivation and or punishment in your bag of tricks, you need to go shopping at the "how to motivate kids" store.
I have known approximately three "bad" kids in my 27 year teaching career. The rest either had parents who forgot to give them their meds or were kids who had a problem and didn't have the words to articulate it or the tools to solve it.
I am glad to be in a space where I can be an advocate for kids and help them find solutions. Because I am not really a principal, I am in no position to tell teachers how I really think they could handle problems. The irony is that if a principal told them that they would suggest that s/he doesn't "get it" because s/he's not in a classroom every day. And as a colleague, any advice from me looks like I just need to mind my own business and do the job I get $5 a day extra to do.
And still, the reward from these encounters and being able to help solve problems is greater than any frustration over the reason some of these problems exist. I kind of look like the magic classroom management superhero by doing something that they themselves cannot.