This paper shares the story of a “struggling” seventh grade girl, Tara. Using the Listening Guide, a qualitative, feminist, relational, voice-centered method of analysis, helped me reach my goal of understanding adolescents and their literacies. Tara spoke of a relational dynamic of knowing, and the feelings of trust and connection she needed to learn in her English language arts classroom. This paper emphasizes and explores the Listening Guide as a methodology that enabled me to hear the complexities of Tara’s voice, and the ways she uniquely made meaning and understood her life and her literacies. Second, I share Tara’s story, shedding light on the relational dimensions of knowledge construction in the classroom, as well as the controlling contexts of school environment. Last, I share practical implications for classroom use and for future research, highlighting the need for more personalized relationships between students and teachers.