The pros have such great board control they could get up facing backwards! There are lots of ways to get up, and what's best for you depends on your size, leg and arm strength, coordination, etc. In Sean Murray's video, he suggests keeping the board sideways to get up. I've found that it's harder to learn to get up that way.
The way you describe is the way I teach people and I've taught 20+ people (from 11 year old kids to a guy in his 50's).