New Teacher PD: Supporting Students with ASD as a Relief Teacher

Tammy McMillan is on a mission to ensure every student feels supported, celebrated, and understood for who they are.

As a qualified Special Education Teacher, Tammy has worked with a wide range of students in schools across Australia and around the world. While working as a Relief Teacher, Tammy noticed an opportunity to help others in the profession better understand students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their unique needs. 

With that goal in mind, Tammy launched Share Shape and Shine—an organisation aiming to support students with additional needs. 

In her first course with ClassCover Learn, Tammy is sharing her wisdom and plenty of learnings to help casual relief teachers make the most of their unique position when it comes to supporting and empowering students with unique needs, such as those with ASD. 

Learning Outcomes 

Here’s what you can expect to pick up from the course:

  • A greater understanding of ASD and your role as a Relief Teacher to students on the spectrum
  • Knowledge of Sensory Needs and the appropriate supports to offer in the classroom
  • Effective strategies to support Emotional Regulation
  • Which adjustments and accommodations are effective to support student learning

Note: This course is currently awaiting NESA accreditation. In the meantime, teachers in NSW are able to use this course towards their Elective PD. 


Set aside around 3 hours to complete the course.


Course Overview  


Meet Tammy. In the introduction, Tammy gives you an insight into her experience as a Special Education Teacher and founder of Share Shape and Shine, an organisation with the goal of helping all special needs students succeed. You’ll also have the opportunity to introduce yourself to your fellow participants and describe what you hope to get out of the course.

Module 1: What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Away we go! In module 1, Tammy gives you an overview of ASD and provide insights into your unique position as a relief teacher to students on the spectrum. At the end of the module, you will have the opportunity to collaborate and talk about any experience you have had teaching students with ASD.

Module 2: Sensory Needs and Supports

In this module, you will learn how the sensory needs of students with ASD differ from others, and the different supports you can offer as a Relief Teacher to help.

Module 3: Emotional Regulation

Module 3 covers emotional regulation and the different behaviours you are likely to observe in students with ASD. In the activity, you will draw on your own experiences to answer a quiz, then reflect on your learnings in this module to plan for the future.

Module 4: Support Strategies

Module 4 will detail different support strategies to use in the classroom and give you an overview of GPS communication. The quiz will test your learnings so far, before you have the opportunity to reflect on ways to incorporate these strategies in your classes.

Module 5: Effective Learning Adjustments

Focusing on the most effective adjustments you can make in your lessons to help students with ASD thrive, module 5 will test your understanding with several multiple-choice questions.

Module 6: Your Role

In the final module, you will learn more about your role as a relief teacher to students with ASD. You will also have the opportunity to develop a lesson plan incorporating your learnings from this course.


In the conclusion, Tammy will provide an overview of the learnings from the course as well as recommendations to help you in the classroom.


This course has been designed with casual relief teachers in mind. While many of the learnings will be insightful for all educators, relief teachers will typically get the most out of the course. 

The course is broken down into six modules, providing an overview of ASD, the ways it can present in the classroom and insights on the ways to support students on the spectrum as a relief teacher. The presenter, Tammy McMillan, uses a mixture of her own experience and theory to give actionable tips to participants. 

All ClassCover Learn courses are delivered virtually using video lessons hosted on our education platform, OpenLearning.

No. The beauty of ClassCover Learn and the online PD format is that you can finish the course at your own speed. Break it down into one module per day, less, more, or whatever works for you. 

You can expect to finish the course in 3 hours if you complete it in one session.

While our presenters do not give individual feedback to participants, we encourage you to engage with other educators in the course comments and benefit from each other’s experience. 

About your presenter 

Tammy McMillan is a qualified Special Education Teacher and founder of Share Shape and Shine. Through her organisation, Tammy aims to increase understanding of the special needs of students with ASD in the classroom and beyond. In this course with ClassCover Learn, Tammy is working directly with Relief Teachers to empower them to help all students, regardless of ability. Want to know more? Check out Tammys website for a range of other resources for teachers, parents, schools, and sport organisations.

Other great courses on ClassCover Learn

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Quality differentiation is no easy task. Every classroom is filled with students with a huge range of abilities across all areas of learning. Learn a range of strategies to ensure the needs of all students are catered for every day, in every lesson.

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