"I feel we are at a higher risk" to contract COVID-19, Trent Johnston says in a sneak peek


Amber Johnston's back-to-school plans are a little more complicated than usual this year.

In PEOPLE's exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming episode of 7 Little Johnstons, Amber prepares to return to work full-time as a teacher amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Teachers are in the buildings no matter what," she says. "The first week of school, the main objective is to get everyone logged on in the event that we do have to go virtual."

With a new school year comes a new group of students, and Amber anticipates that her height will be a topic of discussion amongst the kids. (She, her husband Trent and their five children live with a rare genetic condition called achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism.)

"The second objective is to cover why I'm little," she says. "At this age, kindergarten through fifth graders, they want to learn, they want to know, they are inquisitive. The questions may come out that seem kind of rude or kind of off the wall, but the best thing to do is answer them."

7 Little Johnstons
7 Little Johnstons
| Credit: TLC

Amber says she hopes that her presence in the classroom will help teach kids the importance of acceptance.

"My plan is to give a talk about respect and accepting people with differences," she says. "At the end of the day, that is all of our goals: to make this world a better place and a more accepting place. That's how you do it — by educating. "

But while Amber is eager to get back into the classroom, Trent is nervous about his wife returning to work amid the pandemic — especially given her size.

"You're not an average-size teacher in the classroom. You are literally face-to-face with these kids," he says. "The little people community have been silent about this pandemic. I don't think people stop and realize — I feel we are at a higher risk."

"As little people, if someone coughs, it showers down on you," he explains. "Very seldom will you see Trent and Amber and [our] kids get on a crowded elevator. It's not going to happen."

"And that's before COVID," adds Amber.

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7 Little Johnstons
| Credit: Allison Michael Orenstein

7 Little Johnstons follows the world's largest-known little family. After each episode, viewers can get a behind-the-scenes look with the digital original series Inside the Episodes, in which the Johnstons dish on all of the moments the cameras didn't capture.

7 Little Johnstons airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on TLC.